Red cabbage is healthy, thrifty and robust, so why it remains such an underrated ingredient is beyond us. Part of the problem may be that the tightly-packed sphere yields so many layers it’s sometimes hard to know how to use up a whole one.
How to prepare red cabbage
- Choose the best red cabbage by selecting one that feels heavy, is bright and has crisp leaves. Avoid any that have puffy leaves or outer layers removed.
- Red cabbages are easy to prepare. Strip off the outer leaves, wash, then slice into quarters, cut out the hard central core on each, then chop or shred.
- Lock in the colour by adding a touch of vinegar when cooking red cabbage in water. This stops the lovely deep purple hue from running.
- Don’t be too heavy-handed with red cabbage. A lot of its frumpy reputation comes from it being over-pickled or boiled for an eon. Although it’s a sturdy vegetable it’s not invincible…
- Go raw. Lock in nutrients by eating your cabbage uncooked in salads. Just make sure you slice it very finely.
Top 10 red cabbage recipes
Shop-bought pickled red cabbage can sometimes be too sharp and vinegary. Our homemade version uses less abrasive cider vinegar. As it keeps for a month, it makes a nice addition to a Christmas hamper.
Red cabbage can handle heavy flavours. This braised side dish teams it with star anise, soy sauce and ginger. It’s a great alternative dish for the Christmas dinner table.
Enjoy all the flavours of everyone’s favourite festive tipple in this heathy side. Snuggle a clove-studded clementine into your cabbage during cooking for some real winter warmth.
This vibrant side requires no cooking. It works particularly well on a buffet table next to a homemade ham.
Apples and red cabbage are perfect partners. This braised dish is laced with cinnamon and bay leaves, too.
Make these cider-braised cabbage wedges up to three days ahead for a stress-free Christmas dinner. The dish makes an ideal accompaniment to festive turkey.
Serve this festive pickled red cabbage with cold cuts and sausage rolls on Boxing Day and beyond. It also makes a fantastic side dish for Christmas Day.
This low-fat Christmas side dish is the perfect sweet-savoury combination. Or try one of our simple twists using preserved lemon, ginger wine and bacon.
Flavour red cabbage with port, prunes and orange for an indulgent festive side dish that delivers two of your 5-a-day. It can be made in advance and frozen for up to three months.
Enjoy this spiced ginger beer slow cooker cabbage at Christmas. With sweetness and spice, it makes an ideal accompaniment to a roasted ham.
Is red cabbage a must for you during the festive season? How do you like to serve it? We have more suggestions in our recipe collection.